Mamata Banerjee orders probe into assault on journalists


West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee on Saturday ordered an inquiry into the assault on journalists who were covering the Bidhannagar Municipal Corporation polls, a senior state minister said.

Education and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Partha Chatterjee said, “We condemn the incidents of violence against media. The chief minister has ordered an inquiry.”

At least a dozen journalists, photojournalists and channel camerapersons sustained various degrees of injuries after being assaulted while covering the violence-marred polls in the city’s posh satellite township.

Calling the attacks as “pre-planned”, news channels Zee 24 Ghanta and ABP Ananda claimed that “miscreants harboured by the state’s ruling Trinamool Congress” carried out the assaults.

Chatterjee said the chief minister was gathering information on the incidents and those responsible for the attacks would be identified and dealt with administratively.

Accusing opposition parties Communist Party of India-Marxist, Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party of attempts to foment disturbance over the past few days, Chatterjee said, “The administration will look into the reasons, the circumstances that led to these incidents. We will also find out the agent provocateurs, and look into whether any political party or any other interest group incited the violence.”

“We want to categorically state that in West Bengal, rule of the law has been established under Mamata Banerjee’s leadership. As ruling party we will never want any breach of peace,” he said.

“The opposition parties – CPI-M, BJP and the Congress – have no manpower. They don’t have people behind them. So, over the past few days, they were trying to create a situation which was akin to destroying democracy.”



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